The Sweetest Poison

Have you ever felt sick as a dog?

I woke up a few years ago with one thought on my mind: “I have been poisoned.”

I decided to write down my complaints about how bad I felt physically.

In case you don’t want to read about my complaints, you can skip the next paragraph.

(=> Begin Kim’s complaint paragraph)

I feel as sick as a dog. I hate feeling this way. My energy is drained. I have a headache. My sinuses are swollen. My nose feels stuffy. I have been sneezing like I am catching a cold. My joints ache. My knees feel stiff when I walk. My internal temperature gauge is off. I am cold one moment and hot the next. My face feels bloated. I feel heavier because I am retaining water. My skin feels clammy and itchy.

(=> End Kim’s complaint paragraph)

I had these symptoms because I messed up. I let my arch enemy get to me. It affects me like an allergy.

My nemesis? Sugar. For me, it is the sweetest poison.

In your weight loss journey, you need to know your weaknesses too and develop plans to deal with them.

I know this. So how did I allow sugar to deceive me again? As always, sugar was quite sneaky.

Taking the Sugar Bait

Here is what happened:

My husband Mike has an old recipe for making a brownie in a cup. It cooks in the microwave so you can have a brownie in 2 minutes.

I’d never tried to make one, but decided to do it last week out of curiosity. After tasting the brownie, it was just okay.

Then I got what I thought was a bright idea.

We had a whole box of unused instant coffee in the pantry. So I decided to substitute the cocoa in the brownie recipe for instant coffee.

I reasoned that the coffee was going to waste and this would be a good way to use it.

Oh my goodness. That coffee brownie tasted so good! And it was easy and quick too.

And so my descent began for the week.

After dinner, I’d think “A coffee brownie sure would taste  good right now.” And I would prepare one.

One day, I had 2 brownies! In my mind, I saw it as like drinking a cup of coffee.

But that was a lie.

The coffee brownie had a lot more sugar than I typically drink in a cup of coffee. Plus, I don’t drink coffee that often – maybe once or twice a month.

I started the week full of energy. But at the end of the week, my energy tank was empty and I was full of regret!

While having sugar every once in a while does not cause such symptoms in me, eating sugar every day does.

Wise Advice from Proverbs

I should have remembered the wise advice in Proverbs:

It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one’s own glory is not glory.”

– Proverbs 25:27

While the brownie didn’t have honey it in, it is full of sugar just the same.

So what do you do when you realize you have messed up?

Rather than condemning yourself for the fall, analyze where you slipped!

My mistake was not having the coffee brownie once, but in having them every day that week.

I know that sugar is a big weakness of mine but I was pretending that it wasn’t.

I don’t buy sugary foods because of this fact. Now, I won’t be making coffee brownies anymore for the same reason.

I take responsibility because I am the one who chose to ignore the truth.

I didn’t want to keep on feeling as sick as a dog. That’s why I took the time to write down in detail about how I felt.

I wanted my energy and ease of movement back! The sugar made me feel stiff and achy.

I remembered another scripture that convicted me too:

As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.”

– Proverbs 26:11

This goes right along with me feeling sick as a dog, right? Thank you, Holy Spirit!

Now conviction is different from condemnation.

Condemnation makes you feel bad about yourself. But with conviction comes a plan to make things right.

God is about restoration, not condemnation.

So lesson learned.

The Path to Recovery

Here’s my advice to you: When you realize you’ve made a mistake, don’t keep going down the same road.

I used to do that. I’d say, “I messed up so I might as well keep on eating!”

But that makes about as much sense as stumbling on stairs and because of that, you decide to throw yourself down the rest of them.

Regain your balance and keep moving forward, even if you have to crawl.

I wish I could promise that you will never make mistakes on this journey. If I could guarantee that, I would be rich!

But I must tell you the truth:  On this weight loss journey, you will make mistakes. However, they can work out for your good if you learn from them with the Lord’s help.

Here’s another thing: you will go through different seasons in life in which the same strategies may no longer work for you.

However, this can work out for your good if you exercise your creativity and create a new strategy to match your new season .

That’s why we call this lifestyle a journey. This is not about living a diet; it is about living your life.

Staying healthy is a good journey to take. I am glad I am on it.

How about you?

On my health journey, I learned a new lesson from that experience:

Watch out for coffee brownies!

Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,

Kimberly Taylor

Author of the Take Back Your Temple program

P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!

Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my weight loss journey; I lost 85 pounds and dropped from a size 22 to an 8.

In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.

Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.

“Prayer for Weight Loss”

About the author 

Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a certified Christian life coach and has a heart to help others struggling with emotional eating and weight loss. Once 240 pounds and a size 22, she can testify of God’s goodness and healing power to overcome. She lost 85 pounds as a result of implementing techniques to overcome emotional eating and binge eating disorder.

Kim is the author of "The Take Back Your Temple Program," which teaches Christians how to take control of their weight God's way and the books "The Weight Loss Scriptures" and "The Weight Loss Prayers."

Kim has been featured in Prevention Magazine, Charisma Magazine and on CBN’s 'The 700 Club' television program.

  • HAHA! Yes! “Regain your balance and keep moving forward, even if you have to crawl.” This is the best advice. 🙂

  • Thank you for this article. Your clarification of Condemnation vs Conviction was insightful. I really admire your willingness to share your personal struggles to help others overcome. Whew…Proverbs 26:11…Will be posting that one on the fridge asap! God bless you!

    • Ha, ha – Maria! It is my honor to share what the Lord has taught me. I am not writing about any issues that I haven’t already experienced on my own journey. I praise the Lord for His lovingkindness and patience. He never gives up on us and therefore, we should never give up on ourselves. We can overcome with His help because He is greater than any issue we will ever face 🙂

      • My name is Kenneth ford good job losing weight like you did
        I lost 335 July 19th 2016 I weighed 553 lbs but on August 2019 I got down to 217 lbs
        I gained over a hundred lbs but I am working on losing weight again.

        • Congratulations on keeping off the weight you did! Regarding weight regain…the most important thing is to ensure that your mindset is on BECOMING a fit and healthy person, not about an “overweight person trying to lose weight. The reason is that your behavior will always line up with the person you believe you are. So if your mind is set on an identity of “overweight” then it would be only a matter of time before your outward behavior start lining up with your inner identity again. Food for thought 🙂

  • What a wonderfully powerful post Kimberly! This is extremely timely for me because I’ve been doing OK since having a kidney transplant 3 years ago, but lately I sense heavier temptation for sugary foods. May God bless you for this healing platform!

    • I appreciate that confirmation, Naomi and especially what you said about this being a “healing platform.” I am grateful to the Lord for that word and pray it continue to always be so!

  • Thank you for this timely word. I have been getting into toast, which breaks down into sugar. No sugar added- no jam, etc., but is high carb anyway, and has the same effect as sugar on my blood glucose levels. The “sweetest poison,” indeed. I am encouraged to get up and keep going.

    • Glad to hear that the message was helpful and timely, Gladys. Our Father has a way of delivering the right word at the right time 🙂

  • Love the practical and healthy response to your misstep. Thank you for sharing. It is encouraging and insightful.

  • Love this article. In fact, the analogy you made about falling down the stairs is similar to one a friend made some time ago: If you are in a car accident, you don’t go around the rest of the day trying to get into other accidents. That stuck with me and stair story will, too. I am excited to see what will happen as a result of the sugar detox. Thanks and God bless you.

  • This is me all over I get a small amount and tell myself that it’s all I’m going to get and before I know it I’ve gone bace for second’s and third’s etc,,,quiet as it’s kept I’m a glutton, I can’t seem to stop myself…Help!

    • Hi Ms Spicy – It sounds like the issue is whatever you are binging off of – these things have hijacked your brain. It is similar to a person with a food allergy. It takes prayer and practicality to overcome. I agree with you in prayer that the Lord will open up your Spiritual eyes to show you the foods that are hijacking your brain and the strength to replace those items with others that you like that do not hijack your brain. After all, this race is about finishing well in the Lord and removing any hindrances that stand in the way. The article that you just read should have given you some insight as to what to do. With the Lord’s Spirit within you, you have the strength to follow through, step by step with His help 🙂

  • I am smiling. I am laughing.i am happy for your truth . I felt sick today.

    Yes!!! I’m in the right place.
    Re- routing 06/22/2020

  • How easy it has been for me to give up because I had allowed myself to make a habit of doing it.Sweet use to be a dessert I once a week then it became a everyday habit. This section is opening my eyes to the killer.

  • I thank God that water helps get the excess sugar out of our system. Sugar after a time of not eating much will give me heartburn for the next day(s) even if I’m drinking more water on those days. I assume your plan was developed from trial and error, but I think I’ll give those suggestions a go in the (well, let’s be real, likely) event that I overindulge in the future of this lifelong journey.

  • Soooo….I’m discouraged and beginning again…could use prayer….and a lot of encouragement. I’ve decided to leave TBYT up on my computer instead of closing it. I don’t listen to videos at my computer but I do respond to emails. I’m also not on facebook. Lots of info to digest. I am married and we are self employed but I spend a lot of time alone. My husband uses sugar for energy but is realizing he needs to cut back – he has cut back from 3 cookies to 1/2 a cookie for his breaks in the morn and afternoon, and sugar makes me very very tired. One of my major problems is that I can’t keep a schedule and I know that when my sleep is off then eating and meds are off and then I’m too tired for exercise and stretches. The not keeping a schedule is due to our type of business. I’m 61. 284 lbs. I know what I need to do but am lacking the encouragement and energy to do it. I REALLY do NOT like to cook. I need energy…help?

    • Hi Lo – Rather than thinking of this as starting over again, consider it as picking up where you left off 🙂

      I will pray WITH you according to James 1:5 – ”If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Since the Lord sees the big picture of your life and knows your heart, ask Him to show you the opportunities that you can’t see. Ask Him to show you specific steps you can take right now, in spite of an erratic schedule, to do what is right concerning your eating pattern. In order to have energy, you need more than calories. If you are eating a lot of empty, sugar calories, then they are draining energy from you without giving you anything back. It’s akin to an abusive relationship in my view!

      On the other hand, the foods God made give you energy and the nutrients you need to heal your body and correct anything that is out of order. I am a firm believer that a healthy weight is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. So the best use of your time is to make it a priority to get a handle on what you are eating. I recommend this article for insight into why you want to focus on your eating first:

      Another thing to think about…how are you getting food now since you don’t like to cook? Do you eat a lot of fast food or junk food? If fast food, then Google ”Healthy options at_______” with the blank being whatever fast food restaurant you go to. Or Google ‘Healthy snacks’ for ideas on what substitutions you can make there.

      As you start to get more energy, add short sessions of exercise throughout the day. Even 10 minutes counts! You are only 61 and unfortunately, the phrase ”use it or lose it” applies when it comes to your body. Without intervention, your mobility will likely get worse. So you want to do something to exercise a few times each week now, even if it is stretching for 10 minutes or walking 10 minutes just to keep your body flexible. Plus, working on your weight will help to lighten the burden on your joints. Just like a bridge that will deteriorate faster if trucks over the weight limit travel over it every day, so your joints wear out faster when you carry excess weight. I know because my mobility got better once I dropped excess weight. You’ll improve your chances of being able to stay mobile and active if you take action now each day and promise yourself that you are going to keep going no matter what.

      No more stopping and starting. This is not about a diet but living your life and life happens every day.

      Above all, your life is in Jesus and our main purpose in life is to glorify Him and share Him with others. It is more difficult to do that when you are tired all the time. So you need to eat foods that GIVE you energy, not take from you. Feel free to email me privately to share with me what you typically eat in a day and I will be happy to provide more guidance.

      God bless you!

    • I am 67 & I weigh 239….Sweets are the cause if my weight gain. I was down to 138 then I started having 2 sweets a day instead if 1….that’s when I started gaining all my weight back. 1 sweet per day turned into 2….then 3……then 4…..then 5!!!!!!! Sweets pack the weight on!!!!!

  • I struggle with that all or nothing thinking too. I would quote an old saying “Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb”. So I’d keep indulging. And then feel awful and defeated. Foolish thinking.

  • To be honest I just don’t like the thought of going totally without sugar. But my plan is first to have no more than 3 sugary dessert a week in moderation.

  • I am glad to read this because I ate things I should not have this past Saturday, and I did feel a sense of guilt. This was good for me!

  • Yes- this is what I am going through right now. Going back to the old habits of over eating, eating fast food and desserts. Craving pizza, sweets and the 1/2 pound thick burger at Carl’s Jr.’s. Today I choose life! And I will keep moving forward! Thanks Kimberly- glad I checked in today!

    Julie Olsen

  • Another wonderful article about looking ahead and not dwelling in the past. Not easy but once again your writing gives me hope and points me in the right direction.

    I look so forward to your posts.

    Thank you!

  • Kimberly you have such a humorous way of bringing truth and I think that is why I love reading you so much!!! You are so right about your stairs analogy (love it) you don’t just throw yourself down the stairs if you miss one and you don’t keep going when you slip up but for years I had believed the lie the enemy hooked me up with “You see, you can’t do this… why bother ?” Freedom was just on the other side of that lie and when I got courageous enough to say no to that lie I became free to not “throw myself down those stairs” … we do such stupid stuff when we believe what we feel or perceive that we see! The victory and freedom that comes with it is all won or lost between the ears. I am so glad I found TBYT where there is never any shortage of people or material proclaiming truth to me! I thank the Lord for this.

  • Kimberly,
    I am so sorry you went through what you did, but yes there is a lesson to be learned. We do have to pay the price physically for how we eat. I am on a medication that causes weight gain and have brought my calories too low to compensate just to maintain my weight which is already too low.
    I don’t like padding my calories just to eat more when I am not hungry. I am concerned about what I am doing to my body by eating only 1000 calories some days.

  • Thank you for this message. I love the stairs analogy. That is a good one to remember. We don’t need to eat all six or all ten! Why did we buy (or bake) them anyway!

  • My God on this day:) your testimony not only blessed me but was confirmation of the goodness of God.
    See on this very day I wore a pair of jeans I hadn’t been comfortable in for awhile so I was feeling good about myself. I stopped by the corner store for gas and my favorite snack called my name and convinced me that I would work it off in my walk later. Man was it good. So good in fact that I stopped and got another snack on my way home, after all I am walking LATER. Once home I changed to go walk got distracted and somehow ended up at the local grocery. When I walked in the door fresh baked chocolate chip cookies awaited me and I answered the call. As I walked around a voice kept telling me that just because I gave into temptation there was no need to drown and I would look down at those cookies as if I was going to eat them any way despite what the voice said but it got louder and not only louder but encouraging reminding me of that good feeling I had a few hours earlier. Needless to say I put the cookies back and your testimony gave me another reason to smile and be very glad I did because I remember that sugar sickness all to well:)

  • Kimberly, I had a terrible cold with many of the same symptoms as you shared in this article. It got me to thinking about how I have been eating and though I had been doing well, lately, I have grown fond of a particular granola bar that is dark chocolate with almonds. I have eaten one in the afternoon as my snack over the past several weeks — it is quite sweet under the guise of a “granola bar”!!! When I got sick, I did not want anything sweet so I had a mostly liquid diet with green tea and lemon, oranges, water and more water…no sugar though I wasn’t even thinking about sugar. No wonder my body recovered the way it did!!! Thank you for always sharing such wonderful words of wisdom and insight as we travel this fitness journey. This was excellent.

  • I loved the analogy about throwing yourself down the stairs! You are absolutely right, there is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus!

  • I Thank God for you being in my trials of “Nemesis” I too have that craving, knowing that it’s my poison . I’m learning that I’m not alone.

  • Thank you Kim for this valuable lesson.your transparency lets those of us still learning that the journey to better health is never over in this life. Knowing that your ten year journey to success continues to be just tHAT a journey! It’s encouraging to see that even the teacher( you) are still learning and sharing your journey with us. Your testimony is precious to us because you reflect God the father and His transforming power through Jesus Christ.

  • Thank you for the wonderful words and scripture to use. I too am addicted to sugar. My Grandmother, Mother, and both Brothers are diabetic and overweight so I always blame my problems on “its in my genes”. After I go a couple of days without sweets I always seem to crash. I will keep this story within reach to reread as I try to beat the sugar habit.

  • Hi Kimberly,

    All of your messages have been wonderful but this one really hits home. Being a lifetime dieter and after developing some health issues at the age of 41 last year, I took my health in my own hands and worked very hard to lose 70lbs in one year. However, like a dog returning to it’s vomit, I returned to some old eating habits and behaviors and have put back on 35lbs of that weight :(. No matter how hard I try to go back to how I was losing the weight before, that season has passed and now I am having to figure out a different way to get back to where I was. Sugar is also my nemesis and affects me in some of the ways you mentioned. I must get back to where I was. Thank you for your messages!

  • Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing this morning. Your experience is typical of many of us and I can say that I can personally relate!
    My nemesis is definitely sugar and it gets me going every time that I overindulge. I could go on and on and don’t know when to stop if I allow it to take over instead of God.
    I’m grateful that I’m still learning at my age, to leave certain foods- especially desserts out of my plan and look to Jesus!
    I confess that I bought some items yesterday that could wreak havoc with me if I bake them. I told myself ” Only one,” but who knows what might happen?
    Thank God they’re still on the counter and I can see them from my vantage point. I’m not touching them today because your message rang true!
    God bless,

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. I often beat myself up when i mess up and feel defeated. Thanks for showing that even though you have lost all the weight, you still stumble from time to time, but you get back up. It’s not about being perfect, but changing, learning, and growing.

  • Thank you so much for this (about to cry) I came to my email box my personal on Typically my cuisine is always open but in any case this blog post was on the top of my emails the title intrigued me so I opened it LOL just what I needed! Before I got married the Lord put me on a plan that cut out my sugar and bread intake I ate mostly veggies the only red meat I ate was lamb (love it) I literally forgot what God told me once I got married. I am married to a sugar fiend his whole family is addicted to sugar so I have gained over 35lbs in 5 years my water intake is terrible its like I am a walking Cactus. I stumbled on your blog a few weeks ago I am a personal chef so I know better and know what to eat but these cravings I have to get under wrap. I thank you and just ask for a little prayer for strength to get back on the path of eating for my temple!!!

    • Sugar is indeed a cause for weight gain. 22 years ago, I lost 53 pounds by eating 1 MODERATE sweet per day and 3 meals per day. I started dating a guy & when I got frustrated/angry I started eating sweets. I have gained 99 pounds in 21 years!!!! It is ALL sweet related!!!! Please pray as I try to go back to 1 MODERATE sweet per day. Hopefully after a bit I can get down to a sweet OCCASIONALLY.

      • Hi Judy, I am praying for you! My thought with the sugar issue is to think REPLACE, not eliminate. If a sweet is hijacking your brain to the point that you lose self-control, then the wise thing to do is place it with something else you like that may also be a sweet, but doesn’t hijack your brain. In that way, you get the best of both worlds. May the Lord bless you in your wellness journey!

        • I dont know how to do what you said…..replace sweets with another thing that may be a sweet. Please elaborate. Thank you

  • Thank you so much , I have had an awful 3 weeks and have been looking at my food diary noticing that there is an increase in sugar since the summer . Comfort eating with the change of season. Yours is a word in season. I am getting back on track right now . Thank you so much Kimberly x

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